Friday, April 22, 2022
Written by Alan Vink
Categories: Pastors Blog
Today I would like to write to all of us, me included.
For the last 17 years I have had the privilege of interacting with a lot of churches, pastors and Christian ministries. Prior to that I was a local church pastor for 23 years. I have seen and heard a lot of sad (and bad) stuff none of which will be on the 6.00pm news. You won’t be surprised to hear me say that ‘not all is well’. There are many things I (and I am sure you) could talk about. Covid-19 has added a bunch of topics to the list. There is a time and place to talk about all this, for sure, but not today.
Instead I want to simply talk about honesty. Fair dinkum, true blue honesty.
Let me cut to the chase. I’ve come to the conclusion that if every pastor, every Elder, every Board member, every ministry leader was committed at all times to living honest and transparent lives then we probably would be spared a few messes in life. So often we end up in a mess because we have been short cutting honesty over a long period of time. Yes honesty, please think about it……honestly.
Honesty is about truth telling. Honesty is about living ‘in the light’. Honesty is about listening to feedback and critique and yes even criticism. Honesty is about being accountable. Honesty is about a certain humility that acknowledges that I have weaknesses and blind spots and I need elders, board members, colleagues and supervisors to point those out and invite them to help me. Honesty is about having trusted people around me to save me from myself. Honesty is about confessing my sins to God(and to others) if not every day certainly every week. Honesty is being like David of old:- Psalm 139:22-24
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”. NKJV
“Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about;
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—then guide me on the road to eternal life”. MSG
Brothers and Sisters surely we who are Christians should be very accomplished at this. As Christian leaders we should be experts. Is this not the everyday currency of our lives?
When I am committed to live an honest life I am by definition living a truthful life. Honesty and truth are inextricably tied together. In fact honesty is an application of living in the truth. When I sit humbly before God and ask him honestly to search me or investigate me, He does exactly that. In fact He is glad to be asked. The Spirit of Truth (Jesus himself) gets to work in the dark crevices of my soul and your soul and says, “hey buddy take a look at this. This ain’t pretty”, OR “hey you, listen up, you better address this issue otherwise it will bite you”.
The issue might be, your short fuse (I’ve discovered a lot of pastors are far too easily angered), your love of the bright lights, the big stage and the Green Room, your love of people’s affirmation, your tendency to exaggerate, your love of flashy stuff, and on and on. I would like every pastor to have a thorough understanding of their ‘family of origin’ issues because we all have them and understand how those issues are playing out in your adult life and influencing both our behaviour and our decision making.
There’s so much more we could talk about right here but to wrap this up for now. When we have the privilege to lead people we also have a responsibility to live with honesty and integrity. Any other way will only lead to pain and difficulty if not disaster.
So Pastor, may I encourage you to be honest today and every day going forward, God being your and my helper.
Alan Vink is currently the Executive Director for LeadershipWorx. Prior to this role he has been the Executive Director of Willow Creek Association NZ (WillowNZ), a Baptist pastor (23 years), Bible College teacher, and church consultant.